No shirt, no service

“We made it though the week!” my husband, who stays at home with the kids, declared at dinner.  “Let’s go get ice cream to celebrate.”

Half-an-hour later (why does it take soooo long to get out of the house with three kids?) we were in the car and headed to the local ice cream shop.  We pulled into a parking spot and started the unloading process-unbuckle the big boy from his carseat first so that while he is climbing out through the front, each of us can get a baby out.

As I opened the back door to get baby girl B out of the car, she started to cough.  I knew that cough-deep, loud, and persistent and with an end I wanted to avoid at any cost.
“No, please no,” I thought to myself as I frantically tried to get her unbuckled and out of the car.  In my hurry I fumbled with the button, and before I could get her out, her coughing turned to vomiting.

My kids have what the doctor calls a “sensitive gag reflex”, which means that when they cough, it often leads to throwing up.  I’ve had a lot of experience with this over the past four years, and I managed to catch everything in baby girl’s shirt and jacket.  Nothing on the carseat, nothing on me, nothing on the car.  Pretty impressive, huh?

I finally got baby girl out of the carseat.  I took her to the strip of grass in front of the car and pulled off her jacket and shirt.  “Now what are you going to do?”  my husband asked, then added under his breath, “I should have come to get ice cream alone.”

“What am I going to do?” I asked myself.  I hadn’t brought the diaper bag, so I didn’t have a change of clothes for her. For a moment I figured I’d have to stay in the car while my husband, son, and baby girl A went in without us.  But I love ice cream, and I had an idea.

“Hey buddy, if you want to get ice cream, I need you to give your shirt to your sister.”

He gave me a funny look. “Why, mommy?”

“Beause no shirt, no shoes, no service.  Your sister needs a shirt to go in the store, and you can zip up your jacket.”

To my relief, he took off his shirt and thought it was quite funny how big it was on his little sister.  He zipped his coat up to the top and we all headed in to get our well-deserved dessert.

7 thoughts on “No shirt, no service

  1. What a creative solution. I am glad that you did not miss out the ice-cream eating. It may sound strange to you now, but in years to come, when you read this slice, you will have forgotten how long the getting out took, or the moment of “oh-no” of vomiting, and you will remember with fondness the being together feeling. Kudos to you for finding the time to slice before sleep.


  2. I appreciate the truth in your post. You demonstrated the quick thinking and exhausting decision making and weighing that motherhood requires. Bravo that you showed restraint toward your hb. I don’t think I would’ve been able to stifle a scream.:)


  3. Wow! What a slice of life story! Such a creative solution! This was hard to read since it was so descriptive and I could picture the whole thing! (that is a compliment to your descriptive language…I just hate anything throw-up related! haha).


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